The Iowa office of USDA's Farm Service Agency sent out a reminder last week to landowners and farmers participating in the Conservation Reserve Program, reminding them that maintenance and management activities on CRP acres must be completed outside of the primary nesting season. This includes spraying or mowing CRP land.
John Whitaker, state executive director for FSA in Iowa, says Iowa's primary nesting season begins on May 15 and continues through August 1, 2012. CRP participants should refer to their current conservation plans for the maintenance or management practices that are to be completed for 2012.
Starting May 15 you must get FSA permission to spot spray or mow CRP acres
Participants with maintenance issues that require attention prior to the end of the nesting season must contact their local FSA office for permission prior to performing any spot spraying or spot mowing on CRP acreage.
Failure to contact the county FSA office prior to any maintenance during the primary nesting season may result in payment reductions or possible contact termination. For questions or more information on maintenance or management activities on CRP acres, please visit your local FSA county office or go on-line to http://www.fsa.usda.gov.
June 1 deadline approaching for enrolling in various USDA farm programs
The Iowa office of USDA's Farm Service Agency is also reminding farmers that June 1, 2012 is the deadline for enrolling in the 2012 Direct and Counter-cyclical Program or DCP, the Average Crop Revenue Election program or ACRE and the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program or SURE. This is the deadline for all participants in these programs.
"It is critical for producers to begin and/or complete the enrollment process if they haven't already done so," says Whitaker. "A significant number of farms eligible for the 2012 DCP/ACRE programs haven't enrolled and these producers need to be aware of this deadline."
All signatures of producers receiving a share in DCP/ACRE payments are required by the June 1, 2012 deadline. The election for ACRE for 2012 can be made any time before June 1. If a farm has an ACRE election from a prior year, the farm remains in the ACRE program, however, producers must still complete the annual enrollment process by the June 1 deadline.
It's important for farmers to contact their local FSA office for an appointment
Whitaker says "It's important that farmers contact their local FSA office to set up appointments well before this deadline to ensure all required signatures and documents have been obtained for DCP/ACRE, as well as the SURE program."
The Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program or SURE which provides benefits for farm revenue losses, also has a June 1, 2012 deadline. Losses due to natural disasters that occurred during the 2010 crop year may be eligible for this current sign up. SURE is available to eligible producers on:
* Farms in counties with USDA Secretarial disaster declarations, including contiguous counties, that have incurred crop production or quality losses of at least 10% or both, and includes all crops, grown by a producer nationwide, except grazed crops.
* Any farm in which, for the crop year, the actual production on the farm because of disaster related conditions is 50% or less than normal production of the farm.
For more information about DCP/ACRE programs, visit your local FSA county office or go to www.fsa.usda.gov.